He becomes the sixth member of the Stevens community to attain the honor, following electrical engineering professor Victor Lawrence, President Nariman Farvardin, Provost and University Vice President George Korfiatis, Vice Provost Christos Christodoulatos and biomedical engineering professor Vikki Hazelwood as NAI Fellows.
Yao’s research, previously supported by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Army and the Office of Naval Research, among others, focuses in areas including wireless and satellite networks and communications; electronic warfare; beamforming; directed energy technologies; CDMA radio link protocols; and networks.
An advisor to student research at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, Yao believes inventive thinking is a critical part of the university experience at Stevens — and will become even more so in the future.
“We need to continue creating and sustaining an academic environment encouraging inventive thinking,” he notes. “We need to integrate education, research and intellectual property development, and prepare our students to be a new generation of successful scientists, engineers and inventors.”
In 2011, Yao was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE); in 2013, he received an Advancement of Invention Award from the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame, and in 2015 he was named an Asian American Engineer of the Year by the Chinese Institute of Engineers–USA (CIE-USA).